Adcom GFA-545MKII Amplifiers

Adcom GFA-545MKII Amplifiers 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 38  
[Jul 12, 2016]
Mike
AudioPhile

I am reviewing the first GFA-545 with bipolar transistors.

Lovely solid state amp. I recommend using a tubed preamp with it and not cheapo cables and interconnects. It is revealing of other weaknesses in the chain. Better at lower volumes then when pushed (likely because it runs in Class A for the first 10 watts) to more punishing volume levels. Handles 4 ohm loads well! Damping factor is high, so controls bass like a champ.

Great detail and an open soundstage. Built like a tank!!

For those worried about noise when turning it on I turn on my preamp first and let it sit for 20 seconds or so then turn on the amp. The opposite when turning off, turn off the amp first and let the caps completely disipate then turn off the preamp (especially so if using a tube preamp).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 01, 2015]
Scott B
Audio Enthusiast

Have two of these that I bought used and recapped. They push four 10" DVC subwoofers @ 8ohms. They both sounded great when I bought them but I wanted to be sure they would have enough umph for subs. I also have a GFA-2535 that I use to drive 1" silk dome tweeters and 2" dome midrange speakers and a GFA-555SE I use to drive four 8" 4ohm mid-base speakers in parallel. This gives me 10 channels and a combined 1120watts @8ohms. I use a Yamaha D2040 digital crossover to bring it all together. The 454IIs work hardest of all my amps and still have great tight and punchy bass. Obviously, I'm a bit of an SPL freak but Adcom amplifiers are bullet proof, reliable and for multiple amplifier applications like mine, they are perfect. Many say Adcom is mid-fi and I guess if your talking dollars I might agree, but the imaging and separation I'm getting out of my setup can't be beat.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 04, 2010]
tom_hubbard
Audio Enthusiast

No category for Adcom 545 so I`ll post it here. A fan of audio equipment and sound reproduction for around 50 years . Recently bought a recommended" budget component of the year winner" power amps by one of the big mags. Thankfully there was a 30 day money back trial. I " burned it in" for 4 weeks and was very disappointed. I sent it away for a refund. I saw on Audiogon an Adcom 545 in mint condition. Bought it. Mint condition indeed. Sounded better cold than the rival did on for a solid month. So exicted I sought to have it totally brought back to life. An 1987 amp needs some upgrading afterall. I saw on the internet Big Sky Audio. They were more resonable than the rest ,stating they only replaced crucial parts in the signal path of old HI-Fi gear. I called and spoke to Rick and was assured the job would be done correctly. A few weeks later it arrived back in the same mint cond. After 3 or 4 days break in I was amazed! Transparency was unbelievable. Bass was tight and soundstage improved greatly! For around $400 amp? upgrade will kill anything 5 times the price. I`m running a Musical Fidelity A-5 CD and CJ PF-R pre with a rotation of Cain and Cain Abbey and Dynaudio Audience 42`s and couldn`t be happier. I`m off the upgrade merry-go-round for now.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 04, 2010]
tom hubbard
Audio Enthusiast

This review is for the Adcom 545. No category so I`ll place it here. A few months back in searching for a clean and affordable power amp ,I bought ( name witheld) a popular, " budget component of the year winner" as stated by one of the big mags. Thank goodness there was a 30 day money back trial. After 5 weeks "burn in" iI sent it away unsatisfied. I saw an Adcom 545 on Audiogon in mint contition so I bought it. Mint it was. Hooked it up cold and it sounded better than the raved about model I just returned. Transparent, involving and sweet to say the least. Because the unit was so clean I decided to have it serviced. After all it`s about 23 years old and the caps must be tired. I spotted a company on the internet that advertised mods for older audio equipment and much more resonable than the others, stating they only replaced caps and resistors in the signal path. Well the company is Big Sky Audio. I spoked to Rick who is the owner and the Adcom was off in the mail. A few weeks later I received the unit with all new resistors, caps DC offset and bias set. After only 2 or 3 days run in I was amazed.More transparent, tighter bass, smoother highs. ROCK SOLID stable imaging and an improved soundstage as well. For my total amp/ upgrade investment of about 400$ I`m utterly pleased! I imaging this couldn`t be achieved for 10 times the money spent. I`m using a CJ PFR pre, musical Fidelity A-5 CD and a rotation of Dynaudio audience 42`s and Cain and Cain Abbey. I`m off the merry-go-round of swapping for now.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 14, 2010]
geekster
Audio Enthusiast

Got this for $200 used from an audophile neighbor. No idea how old it is. I'm using it to bi-amp some Polk RTi-12s, it's hooked to the lower half of the cabinets, powering the 3 bass radiators per side. All I can say is Oh- My-God. It drives the RTi-12's to very satisfying lows, effortlessly. This is in a large open loft-style space. and I can literally see ripples in the surface of the sofa from the bass, which is clear and never boomy or muddy. So I can't rate this amp for treble, but as a bass amp it's fantastic. I think the 100W rating might be pretty conservative.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 21, 2009]
stratman672001
AudioPhile

I actually had the GFA 545 (Mk I). I had always lusted after Adcom gear since the late '80s, but when I finally got this unit in 2006 I was disappointed. I expected a fairly refined sound. What I got was cold, hard, sterile and steely. I felt like I had to get away from it every time I listened to it. I didn't help that I was using, at the time, Paradigm Mini Monitors V4. They exacerbated the steelyness with their titanium dome tweeter (just think I almost bought Focals... Yikes). I would think this unit would sound better with a pair of "New England" voiced speakers with their slightly rolled off top end. I'm talking original ARs, KLHs, Advents, NHTs, etc. So was it worth the money? Not in the least IMO. When I switched to tubes all was right with the world again and I've never looked back.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 26, 2008]
rxtscott
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Built like a tank, Sounds great even after 15 years, Very powerful.

Weakness:

A little harsh on the high end. I'm trying different cables and speaker combinations.

This is a great amplifier. It's well built, powerful and very clean. You need to use high end cables and a good set of speakers to really enjoy it though. It seems to be a little harsh on the high end so soft dome tweaters are probably a better choice. It also has a soft pop during poweroff when the caps discharge. I called Adcom. They said this is normal. For $200.00 I'll live with the soft pop. Hi fi system for less than $1000.00. Can't complain!

Customer Service

none

Similar Products Used:

Adcom, QSC, Macintosh, DynaAudio, Bozak, PSB, Polk

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 22, 2007]
Jim
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Sound quality, build quality.

Weakness:

None.

I just bought this amp (actually a GFA-545, non MKll) after reading these reviews and several others and I must say that it certainly gets the job done. It is powerfull, much more powerful than the rated 100wpc indicates. I have my volume down by 75% over what my old 80wpc amp would be and still have the same volume level. The bass is tight and punchy and the soundstage is very full. I have more of a sense of being surrounded by the sound than I have ever heard before. I would compare this to the NAD 2400 power amp in terms of sound quality. Also, it is built like a tank.

Similar Products Used:

McIntosh, NAD, Carver

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 08, 2007]
Kevin
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Power and low end

Weakness:

High end was very sterile and dry

This is for the original GFA-545 , not the Mk.II. To put it in a nutshell, I could not live with the 545 in stock form. The highs were unbearable, so I had Wavetrace Technologies (Clearwater, FL) modify the amp ($400) based on circuit designs by Stan Warren of the original PS Audio fame. After the mods, it's an amp I can live with forever! Sounds as good as the NEW A-20 (pure Class-A based on a Nelson Pass design) I later had powering the mids and highs on the Dahlquist DQ-20i's I had at the time with the Adcom powering the lows. Much better sound both highs and lows. The Adcom had been sitting dormant since I switched to active speakers (Paradigm Active 20's) in '99, but just brought'er out of retirement in my HT system. I'm using a Yamaha receiver with Klipsch speakers and wasn't happy with the sound...especially the highs with horn tweeters, so I popped the Adcom in using the preamp outs to power the front mains. All I can say is that 2 channel stereo is back! Now to find a 3ch amp, or go with a 5ch and be done with it. I really can't reccomend the original 545 due to the sterile highs, unless you're using it in a bi-amp configuration powering woofers, some really laid back speakers, or have it modded.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 30, 2006]
Xenogear
Casual Listener

Strength:

Neutral, clean sound. Muscular, can drive 4 ohm speakers with ease.

Weakness:

Nothing

I bought this product from a seller on ebay. It is connected to a pair of Kef C35s and a 30B subwoofer. The Pre-Amp is an Adcom GTP500II. I have not noticed the brightness that everyone is talking about in their reviews. So far, this combination sounds smooth and warm. I can listen to this system for hours at a time. It's not edgy like my Sony ES receiver.

The speakers have more to do with the sound. But I do notice the difference between this Adcom combination, the Sony ES receiver, and a Harman-Kardon integrated amplifier on the same set of speakers. To me, the Sony and the HK are more punchy and sounds exaggerated compared to the Adcom. At low listening levels, the loudness compensation of the Sony and the HK have a more pronounced effect. The Adcom, having more power and current, can drive the 4 ohm speakers with a little more authority. The sound is also much cleaner at higher volumes. The imaging is much better. I can't really attribute all of the difference to the amplifier since the pre-amp is also in the signal path. One thing I can say though is that this amplifier puts out very clean sound.

I have always liked the looks of Adcom components. They've got a modern, understated design to them. The quality and craftsmanship are very good on this Amplifier.

I want to clarify that the purchase price above is for the amplifier only. I already had the pre-amplifier when I bought the amp.

Customer Service

I have not had to call Adcom for this unit. I have called them before about my Pre-Amp and they always answered my e-mails. In my opinion, they have good service.

Similar Products Used:

Sony ES Receiver
Harman-Kardon Integrated Amp (PM 635)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 38  

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